India Exclusive: Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

It’s a modified Tata Sumo,” one of them declares with absolute confidence. “No”, says the other fellow, “it’s either a spruced up Trax or a customised Mahindra Bolero with a Mercedes logo”. “Whatever it is, it looks like an expensive job,” says the third guy in the back seat of a hatch stranded next to our SUV in question, at a busy traffic junction.

I wouldn’t blame them – we’re in Bangalore, and you’ll see lots of spruced up versions of Indian SUVs here. But we weren’t driving one of those. I was cautiously piloting the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG out of the IT hub, in search of an open stretch of highway because that’s where the G-Wagen’s 5.5-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol motor is more likely to feel at home.

Just to remind our readers – this isn’t the first time this rugged Mercedes SUV is on Indian soil. The G-Wagen was first launched in India two years ago in G55 AMG guise. True to the design philosophy of the original Geländewagen – which rolled out of the factory in Graz, Austria in 1979 – today’s G63 AMG still has that classic form, almost 34 years later. And apart from those confusing the G-Class with some customised Indian SUV, there are more than a few admirers of this German military vehicle in civilian dress code. Plus that throaty growl from the side-mounted exhaust pipes has always been music to the ears.